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Everything You Need to Know About John Cena's Shocking (Temporary) WWE Return

John Cena intends to make a big impact in a short amount of time when he returns to WWE.

By Chris Phelan
John Cena throwing up the peace sign while in the ring

There's cause for celebration throughout the WWE Universe as John Cena is about to make his long-awaited return to the ring! But, of course, there are some caveats.

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While we're understandably thrilled that Cena will be appearing on WWE television again in the near future, we're less excited that he'll be exclusively appearing on SmackDown. In our eyes, John Cena is synonymous with Monday Night RAW, but if WWE thinks his brand of star power will help out on Friday nights, we can't argue with that logic. Who knows – maybe he'll get tangled up in Roman Reigns' business!

RELATED: John Cena Returning For Final SmackDown Of 2022

Curiously, Cena is only slated to appear throughout September and October, with his first appearance kicking off on September 1 in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Whatever John Cena has planned for this particular run, he only has eight weeks to accomplish his goal. He should act fast if he intends to capture a championship or two. 

Why is John Cena Returning to WWE?

John Cena Doing His Cant See Me Hand Gesture

Although it's not permanent (he is a prominent Hollywood A-Lister these days, after all), Cena's return has sparked intrigue throughout the wrestling world. However, a closer look at WWE's official press release announcing his return sheds some light on the reasons behind his upcoming run:

"Throughout his SmackDown return, Cena in partnership with Make-A-Wish will host children and their families in each of the eight cities to experience a WWE event in-person," reads WWE's statement. "For 40 years, WWE and Make-A-Wish have granted the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses who desire to meet their favorite WWE Superstars. Cena is the most requested wish granter of all time, having granted more than 650 wishes for children across the globe."

So there you have it: John Cena has an unrivaled connection with his fans, and he's made a career out of making wishes come true for the WWE Universe through the Make-A-Wish foundation. In a way, the reasons behind his return are two-fold: Not only does he have an itch to get back in front of a live WWE crowd, but he'd like to add to his legendary reputation as the man who holds the Guinness World Record for most wishes granted for Make-A-Wish! Boasting over 650 wishes granted, Cena stands unrivaled. Whether you love him or love hating him, nobody can deny the good John Cena has done for everyone he's encountered. 

In fact, between his impressive out-of-the-ring accomplishments and his accolades earned in WWE (he's a 16-time World Champion!), one could argue that John Cena is the greatest WWE Superstar ever. We'd be hard-pressed to argue. 

When Was the Last Time John Cena Appeared in WWE?

Close up of John Cena smiling in the ring

It wasn't long ago when Cena shocked the world by unexpectedly making his presence known at Money in the Bank 2023 – not even an interruption by Grayson Waller could temper the WWE Universe's excitement! Interestingly enough, Cena floated an idea that has lived rent-free in our heads since Money in the Bank: That WWE should host a future WrestleMania across the pond in England!

Hopefully, Grayson Waller will keep his nose out of Cena's business on SmackDown.

One question remains, however. As a 16-time World Champion, John Cena has found himself tied with Ric Flair for the most world title reigns in professional wrestling history. Does Cena intend to distance himself from The Nature Boy once and for all and reveal his plan to become a 17-time World Champion? Such an announcement would rock WWE to its core – and an eventual showdown with the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns would cause the WWE Universe to immediately salivate.

Only time will tell. For now, John Cena is back – albeit temporarily – in WWE starting September 1, just one day before Payback 2023. Stay tuned.

You can tune in to Peacock to watch WWE's Payback on September 2. In the meantime, catch up on all things WWE Universe on Peacock.

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